Courtroom dramas often fail to maintain a high level of interest with their enclosed, sterile settings and inevitable outcomes. This is not the case with TRIAL, an unusually good film due to extraordinary efforts by everyone involved. Ford is an inexperienced lawyer who defends an
undoubtedly innocent Mexican youth against a charge of murder. The case very nearly meets its resolution outside the courtroom when an angry mob attempts a lynching. In an unusual casting move for the 1950s, the presiding judge is black. Hernandez's portrayal of the conscientious jurist is superb.
In addition to its focus on prejudice, the film also deals with using such a case to help th...